Poll: Canadians still split on marijuana

News 7 August, 2017
  • Joel Lemay/QMI Agency

    QMI agency

    Sunday, August 6, 2017 11:54

    Sunday, August 6, 2017 11:57

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    If the majority of Canadians agree with the legalization of marijuana, however, they are divided on how to go about it, shows a survey of the firm Nanos Research, conducted for CTV News.

    Survey respondents were particularly divided on the minimum age necessary to be able to find cannabis. 27.6 %, Canadians believe that the minimum age should be 18 years of age, from 29.5 % who believe it is necessary to push the limit to 21 years. The rest of the respondents opposes the decriminalization, or would have preferred another age limit.

    Some medical groups, such as the Association of specialists in emergency medicine of Quebec and the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec, have pleaded for it to be prohibited to buy cannabis before the age of 21, while the government plans to draw the line at 18 years of age. The doctors argue that the brain of the youth is still in development and that the use of marijuana may increase the risk of psychosis.

    Canadians are also divided on how to distribute the drug. One-quarter of respondents (25 %) believe that the government should manage the sale in a public network, for example at the SAQ in Quebec, while 26 % of respondents prefer to let the private sector manage the trade of cannabis, whether in pharmacies or specialty shops. Nearly 30 % of respondents reported having no preference.

    The telephone poll was conducted from 23 to 26 July with 1000 Canadians. The margin of error is 3.1 %, 19 times out of 20.

    Ottawa expects its bill to legalize marijuana will become effective on July 1, 2018.